Sunday, 21 October 2018

EP: Ghostking is Dead - This Is Doubt

Ghostking Is Dead - This Is Doubt

Info: Ghostking is Dead is the project of Cork-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Corrigan, which has been celebrated for it's vivid soundscapes and intriguing sonic themes.

This Is Doubt, the latest EP from Ghostking Is Dead was released earlier this week, and before we get stuck into a track by track view, I must share from the get go that it's easily one of the best Irish EP's to be released this year. I shall explain why, and where the feels come from.

A week or two ago we reviewed the lead single, 'Tokyo', from the EP and had this to say; "There's a very soothing delicacy on 'Tokyo', with Ghostking Is Dead in contemplative mood courtesy of his spoken-word intro. As is his wont, it's not long before he throws soulful pop vocals into the mix alongside some seriously chill electronic sounds. The single also confirms what we have learned from previous singles such as the excellent 'Lucky Warrior' and 'Fool', Ghostking Is Dead doesn't do limitations, and is very comfortable at strafing across a multitude of styles and sounds with uncanny ease."

The transition into 'Hollow' is seamless, the delivery is especially disarming, valium for the ears. It's regular enough that lyrics can be nothing more than filler, to add an extra layer to a song, and that's okay, yet here there's no such shortcut. Lines such as; "Jealousy will have my coffin for a friend" and "The price of success is high and the only coin is my health" provoke thought, make you take a step back, and are ultimately more poetry than lyrics. As an aside, you kind of have to marvel at how good GKID is at wrapping credible hip-hop beats around his music when it's called for.

'Burn Out - Automatic Blue' is siiiiick, illegal amounts of mellow get poured in, from the lazy thick bass (gawd), to the single strum of guitar, to the aloof vocal, it's a really delightful jam, and in my notes I have that I feel the same way that I do when I listen to the quieter tracks off Blood Orange's last two albums, but I don't know why. It really is one of those that could go on for 15 minutes and you'd still hit repeat, as if all this wasn't enough, the piano and the vocaliser in the final third make for haute enjoyment.

On 'It's Over' we walk through the door of an old club, as we turn our heads to the right searching for our table, Ghostking is Dead is on stage under spotlight, there's an awful lot of soul going on here and it's top drawer. Finally from his bag of tricks 'How Did I Get Here?' gets yanked out, a new genre is born, cabaret-funk. In sequence, the list of artists it reminds me of, Nina Simone, Black Grape, George Harrison, The Specials, Connan Mockasin and Portishead. At this point I don't really have much left to say, other than to quote Jim Carrey's character Chip Douglas in The Cable Guy, "Cherish him, every hair on his head".

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